Screenwriter Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall, Dear John) says he was inspired to write and direct 10 Years by attending his own high school reunion. Fair enough. Reunions can be the spur for great storytelling, as witness such memorable movies as The Big Chill and John Sayles’ Return of the Secaucus 7. Linden also managed to round up an attractive, appealing cast and worked with them to develop their roles. The resulting film is certainly authentic, tracking friendships continued and rekindled, as well as awkward encounters and revelations.
The ensemble is led by this year’s busiest new star, Channing Tatum (who also served as one of the producers), and his real-life wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum. They’re joined by Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, Anthony Mackie, Justin Long, Kate Mara, Rosario Dawson, Lynn Collins, Oscar Isaac, Aubrey Plaza, Mike Minghella, Scott Porter, Brian Geraghty, and Ron Livingston.
The movie ebbs and flows: it’s interesting for a while, followed by a dull stretch—lively for a bit, then stagnant. Thinking about it, I realized it wasn’t very different from a real-life reunion.
In the end, there’s no real takeaway. 10 Years is pleasant at best, with a few good scenes for some actors’ résumé reels. Isolated moments don’t add up to a genuinely good movie.